7 Best Bass Guitars Under $300 2022

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Best Bass Guitars Under $300

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The bass guitar plays a foundational role within any band as the bass player often carries the group. There’s an undeniable addictive quality to an excellent groove, but this be found with an inexpensive bass?

With the following bass guitars, you’ll find excellent examples of playability and tones for under $300. Beginner bass players, adults, children, and former guitarists can all find something of use here. 

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Ibanez TMB30 – Best Overall

Ibanez TMB30

If you’re looking for the best value overall, look no further than the Ibanez TMB30 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon). For years, beginner bass players have gravitated toward this model, and for good reason.

This bass has a very unique body shape, almost reminiscent of a modified Fender Telecaster. Despite this, the TMB30 provides an excellent playing experience for anyone looking to get into playing the bass. 

For starters, the TMB30 features a Poplar body, with a number of different color options, including:

  • Mint green
  • Black
  • Ivory

The TMB30 features a bolt-on neck design, featuring a Maple neck with a Jatoba fretboard. You’ll find this neck to be quite comfortable, with a C-shape contour that isn’t too fat or slim.

Likewise, the Jatoba fretboard features a radius of 9.44”, which feels just right without being too flat. 

Perhaps one of the best things about the TMB30 is the fact that it is a short-scale bass. It has a scale length of 30”, which, again, seems perfectly proportionate for any player.

For pickups, the TMB30 manages to combine the best of both worlds into one instrument. It features:

  • Dynamix P split single-coil (neck position)
  • Dynamix J single-coil (bridge position)

Ibanez has included a master volume knob, as well as a volume knob for each pickup. This allows you to blend each pickup to your heart’s desire and provides some unique tonal combinations. 

Aside from that, the TMB30 also features:

  • Plastic nut
  • Open-gear tuners
  • B10 bridge

All in all, the TMB30 has had a stellar reputation over the years and continues to be a worthwhile instrument. This bass provides easy playability and classic tones, all without a steep price tag. 

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II – Best Premium

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II

Not overly concerned if the bass of your choosing maxes out the proposed $300 budget? You’ll want to check out the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).

The G2220 has a classic design, with a body shape similar to the iconic Les Paul guitar. Its single-cutaway design allows for easy access to the upper regions of the fretboard.

This bass’s construction features a Basswood body and comes in a wide range of color options, including:

  • Bristol fog
  • Shell pink
  • Imperial stain
  • Tobacco sunburst
  • Torino green
  • Walnut

The G2220 features a Maple neck, which is joined to the body with a bolt-on configuration. It has a gloss finish, which provides smooth playability and an excellent shine.

Black Walnut is used for the G2220’s fretboard, which features a 12” radius. This seems to be an excellent alternative to Rosewood, helping to provide warmth to the bass guitar’s tone. 

The G2220 is a short-scale bass, with a scale length measuring 30.3”. Its nut width is 1.562”, perfect for adults who don’t want to feel like they are playing a tiny bass. 

Where the G2220 really shines is in its pickups, featuring a pair of Mini Bass single-coil pickups. These have an attractive cover that makes them look similar to humbucker pickups.

Gretsch has provided a 3-way pickup switch, as well as a master volume and master tone knob. You’ll find this bass to be quite warm, with a hint of sweetness in the upper regions of the neck. 

Other hardware to be found on the G2220 includes:

  • Synthetic bone nut
  • Die-cast tuners
  • Adjustable 4-saddle bridge

Overall, the G2220 is truly a classy bass guitar, offering plenty of options for any player’s preferences. 

Ibanez miKro GSRM20 – Best Budget

Ibanez miKro GSRM20

On a tighter budget and looking for something versatile? The Ibanez miKro GSRM20 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is an excellent value. 

This bass is perfect for guitarists who are transitioning to the bass. It’s also perfect for younger children who might have a smaller stature and smaller hands.

The GSRM20 features a Poplar body and comes in a number of color options, including:

  • Weathered black
  • Black
  • Root beer metallic
  • Walnut flat
  • Transparent red

Maple is used for the neck, which has a smooth satin finish that provides fast playability. The 22-fretted fretboard is crafted from Jatoba to have a 12” radius, which is suitable for any style of play.

One of the best things about the GSRM20 is its shortened 28.6” scale length. This is considerably smaller than most basses, so those with smaller hands will be greatly accommodated here. 

For pickups, the GSRM20 provides an excellent range of classic tones, thanks to its:

  • Dynamix P split single-coil (neck position)
  • Dynamix J single-coil (bridge position)

You’ll find the neck position to be punchy and a little bright, while the bridge is a little more mellow. A master tone knob and a pair of volume knobs are provided for pickup blending.

Other hardware featured on this bass includes:

  • Plastic nut
  • Die-cast tuners
  • B10 bridge

Overall, this bass is a worthwhile investment and all the proof you need that an inexpensive bass can perform well. Any young child or adult will find this to be quite a convenient playing experience.

Plus, it has a fairly unique double-horned body style, which sets itself apart from other bass designs. You’ll be able to use this for all styles of music, no matter what visual aesthetics the genre might require.

Epiphone SG EB-0

Epiphone SG EB-0

The body design of the SG is one of the most iconic guitar designs ever created. It’s safe to say that it’s just as effective and iconic when applied to the bass guitar.

In fact, SG bass guitars tend to be quite a rare sight in today’s musical world. Jack Bruce, from the band Cream, helped to make this an iconic instrument in the late 1960s.

You’ll be pleased to know that you can get your hands on this iconic bass at an affordable price. The Epiphone SG EB-0 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) provides classic tones and a timeless aesthetic. 

This bass features a Mahogany body, a Mahogany neck, and a Rosewood fretboard. You’ll find this to be quite comfortable to play thanks to its classic SlimTaper D contour shape.

The SG EB-0 does have a shortened scale length of 30.5”, which is perfectly suited for just about anyone. 

For the most part, the SG EB-0 is one of the most simplistic bass guitars that money can buy. It only has 1 pickup, which is a Sidewinder humbucker placed in the neck position.

Along with this, you’ll have a basic master volume and master tone knob to control your tone. 

This bass guitar isn’t going to suit everyone’s tastes regarding the tone. It has a very large and round tone that is reminiscent of a standup bass used in traditional jazz settings. 

The SG EB-0 also features hardware such as:

  • Nickel tuners
  • NuBone nut
  • Adjustable bridge

Ibanez PCBE12MH 

Ibanez PCBE12MH

Inexpensive bass guitars aren’t limited to only the electric varieties. The Ibanez PCBE12MH (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is a great acoustic bass option on a budget. 

This acoustic bass takes the shape of a smaller grand concert acoustic body design. The result is a comfortable experience with an exquisite balanced natural tone with plenty of warmth and roundness. 

Sapele is used for the entire construction of the PCBE12MH’s body, featuring an attractive open-pore finish. 

The neck is crafted from Maple and has a shortened scale length of 31.89”. Nandu is used for the fretboard, providing a playing experience very similar to that of Rosewood. 

Perhaps the biggest selling point of the PCBE12MH is the fact that it comes equipped with a pickup and preamp. This means that you aren’t limited to how and where you’ll be able to play this bass guitar.

You’ll be able to play this bass guitar anywhere, whether it be out in the woods or on the stage. Having this kind of versatility is extremely practical as music often takes players into unique setting situations. 

The preamp features a 2-band EQ, a volume control, and a tuner that mutes the output when in use. You’ll find that this pickup actually preserves the natural tones of this acoustic bass quite well.

Other hardware to be found on the PCBE12MH includes:

  • Plastic nut
  • Plastic saddle
  • Nandu bridge
  • Die-cast chrome tuners

Overall, the PCBE12MH is an excellent value and is suitable for just about any musical setting. No matter the size of the player’s stature, the PCBE12MH provides a very comfortable and familiar playing experience. 

Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass

Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass

The Precision Bass is one of the most iconic bass guitar designs ever created. Unfortunately, the Fender varieties tend to be outside of the budget of most beginners.

However, with the Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) you’ll have classic tones on a budget. This is often the go-to instrument for those looking for a traditional P-bass playing experience without paying a fortune.

The Affinity Series Precision Bass features a Poplar body, and comes in a number of different colors and fretboard options. These include:

  • Lake placid blue (Laurel)
  • Charcoal frost metallic (Laurel)
  • Black burst (Maple)
  • Olympic white (Maple)

It should be stated that no matter your color/fretboard choice, the schematics remain consistent across the board. 

Maple is used for the neck, which features the traditional Fender C-shape contour. The fretboard itself has a 9.5” radius with 20 frets.

Unlike other basses in this price range, the Affinity Series Precision Bass is a full-scale bass guitar. Its scale length measures 34”.

One of the best things about the Affinity Series Precision Bass is that it actually provides some versatility. You aren’t limited to purely P-bass tones, as Squier has included a:

  • Ceramic P-style split single-coil (neck position)
  • Ceramic J-style single-coil (bridge position)

This means that you’ll be able to take advantage of both P-bass and J-bass tones in one great package. A pair of volume knobs and a master tone knob are provided for pickup blending.

The Affinity Series Precision Bass also features hardware such as:

  • Synthetic bone nut
  • Vintage-inspired tuners
  • 4-saddle bridge

Overall, it’s hard to find anything wrong with the Affinity Series Precision Bass. It provides a classic design matched with classic tones while remaining quite affordable. 

Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass 

Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass

The Fender Jazz Bass is perhaps just as iconic as the Precision Bass. This style typically has an offset body design with a bit more warmth and depth in the tones it provides. 

An excellent budget version is the Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon). This bass doesn’t compromise on its tradition in order to offer an accessible price tag. 

For starters, the Affinity Series Jazz Bass features a Poplar body, with some options for colors and fretboard materials. These include:

  • 3-color sunburst (Maple)
  • Black (Maple)
  • Burgundy mist (Laurel)
  • Charcoal frost metallic (Laurel)

Regardless of choice, the Affinity Series Jazz Bass features a Maple neck with a C-shape contour. Its fretboard has a Fender standard 9.5” radius. 

This bass has a 34” scale length, offering a full-scale playing experience to those who are looking for it. 

For pickups, the Affinity Series Jazz Bass features a pair of Ceramic Jazz single-coil pickups. When coupled with the master tone knob and pair of volume knobs, some truly classic tones are produced.

The Affinity Series Jazz Bass also features hardware such as:

  • Synthetic bone nut
  • Vintage-inspired open-gear tuners
  • 4-saddle bridge

Like the Affinity Series Precision Bass, this Jazz bass is an exceptional value for what it has to offer. You’ll truly be able to produce your favorite J-bass tones without having to fork over a ton of cash. 

What To Look For When Buying A Bass Guitar Under $300

If you’ve never bought a bass before, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should be looking for. Keep the following points in mind to inform your purchasing decision when you are performing your research.

Type 

One of the first things you need to decide upon is the kind of bass you are looking for. Bass guitars come in both acoustic and electric varieties, with many acoustic basses offering electric capabilities. 

You might not always want to have to play an acoustic bass, especially if playing music that is technically demanding. These types of basses might not be as easy to play and may force you to simplify your playing. 

That’s not to say that acoustic basses aren’t worth your time. Quite often, these provide the most versatility with regard to where you can use them.

With that being said, no matter what type you choose, you’ll have to whittle your preferences down even further. Pay attention to the kinds of body styles that really grab your attention.

Looks certainly aren’t everything, but you’re more likely to connect with your bass if you like how it looks. Let’s face it, you won’t want to play with something that you wouldn’t be caught dead with. 

Also, take into consideration what genres of music you might find yourself playing. This can have an impact on the decision you make.

It might not be important to you, but it’s always nice to have a few color options available, as well. Younger players especially enjoy having a degree of personalization involved with their instrument of choice. 

Scale Length

Another thing to consider is whether you want a full-scale or short-scale bass. This refers to the measurement between the nut and the string saddles.

Most standard bass guitars tend to have a scale length of 34”. However, these can prove to be a bit too large or long for those with smaller hands.

Having a shorter scale length decreases the distance between each fret. It also provides a slinkier playing experience, often with more pronounced mid-range tones. 

Short-scale basses are especially ideal for a guitarist transitioning to the bass guitar. This makes the size difference between the instruments much easier to navigate.

Strings

Most bass guitars in the $300-or-below range will typically have 4 strings. However, it’s important to remember that bass guitars also come in varieties such as:

  • 5 strings
  • 6 strings
  • 7 strings
  • 8 strings
  • 12 strings

Pickups

One of the biggest things you’ll need to pay attention to is the pickups that the bass is equipped with. This will determine the kinds of tones that you’ll be able to produce on the instrument.

Many bass guitars in this price range tend to offer pickups that emulate the iconic Precision and Jazz basses. These typically provide a range from a bright punch to a warm and mellow tone.

However, these aren’t the only varieties to be found. For that reason, it is of utmost importance that you try each bass guitar out for yourself. 

Always take into consideration the different settings you might find yourself using the bass. Certain genres will typically be more suited toward specific bass tones. 

Overall Package

Another thing to consider is whether the bass comes with any additional features. You might be able to find certain items bundled with the instrument, adding value to the overall cost. 

However, at this price range, it’s rare to find a highly playable bass guitar with any additional features. Usually, such additions will push the price of the instrument beyond budget price levels. 

That isn’t to say that such bundles don’t exist. If you do come across such bundles, make sure the bass is of worthwhile quality above everything else. 

Sometimes, bundles are put together to be able to sell a lower-grade instrument. So, this is something you’ll also need to be aware of.

Budget

It’s always good to have a pre-defined budget (in this case, $300 or below). However, you’ll need to be mindful of a few things.

Quite often, these instruments will not come included with a gig bag or case. Such a purchase might put you beyond the range of the proposed budget.

Also, don’t be afraid to look around at the used market. Quite often, you can find excellent deals on barely-used basses. 

New instruments tend to depreciate in value very quickly. You might actually be able to find a higher-quality instrument priced in your budget range.

Best Brands For Bass Guitars Under $300

It’s easy to get a little lost when looking at all of the different bass guitars available on the market. If you should find yourself in these shoes, consider checking out some of the instruments from the following reputable brands.

Squier

Squier was started in the 1980s and is owned by Fender. The company specializes in producing budget guitars crafted to traditional Fender specifications.

For decades, Squier has been the go-to company for those wanting the Fender playing experience on a budget. There are even some professionals who prefer to use Squier instruments over their Fender brethren. 

Ibanez

Ibanez is one of the most well-known Japanese guitar manufacturers in the music industry. The company actually began as an importer of classical guitars before building its own models.

Today, Ibanez is known for its innovative designs and precise craftsmanship. Many virtuosos have openly endorsed Ibanez instruments over the last few decades. 

Top Bass Guitars Under $300, Final Thoughts

The price range of $300 and below is usually reserved for beginners. However, it just goes to show that there are some exemplary basses that perform beyond this budget range.

Take your time to try each model out for yourself to see and hear how it sounds and plays. If you’re patient with the process, you’re sure to find a model that suits your needs, preferences, and tastes.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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